Are you preparing to relocate to Iran for work? Or maybe you are already an expat in Iran and would like to get more familiar with working conditions in Iran. Read this article to find out the answers to your questions about moving to Iran for work as an expat.

In the business world, an expat is a person who was sent to a foreign country to work in subsidiaries or branch offices of a company. These people can help local businesses and improve the coordinations between sites.

However, there are some major cons for expatriates which should be considered by employers. The hidden costs for hiring expatriates are:

  • High-level compensations in comparison to local employees
  • High integration costs to cope with new culture
  • High costs of living including health care, housing, schools for their children and etc.
  • Costs of moving expatriates’ family and their belongings
  • Governmental restrictions in foreign countries

So, what about Iran?

Iran is the second biggest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the most populous. After the lifting of the nuclear sanctions against Iran, more international companies are seeking business opportunity in Iran as a niche market. Many expats are also interested in seeking good and high paid salary in Iran independently.

International firms are trying to hunt best local talents to form their core team, however, this is not an easy task. Iran’ job market is not well developed and finding qualified talents is like look for a needle in a haystack. In such risky conditions, most of the companies prefer to use their expatriates to boost their process.

Expat’s guide to working in Iran:

Are you preparing to relocate to Iran for work? Or maybe you are already an expat in Iran and would like to get more familiar with working conditions in Iran. Well, since there is a lack of information for international firms, working conditions and related topics, the aim of this article is to provide such a comprehensive guidance.

Working in Iran comes with a variety opportunities. Energy industries, agriculture and service are the main sectors which offer more job opportunities. If you are a graduated expert with reliable experience in these sectors, you can find good opportunities. By using Social Networking sites like LinkedIn you can find better results.

Back to reviewing the guidance for expats moving to Iran, the following questions may come up: Am I eligible to Iranian income tax law? What are the requirements to get a residence permit for my spouse? How should I apply for a work permit in Iran? Which healthcare system should I apply for?

Answering these questions requires a vast information about living, working and relocating matters to Tehran. However, in this article we provide a summary guidance. Let’s review the answers to the mentioned questions:

Eligibility for Iranian income tax:

Any person who’s working in Iran is subject to income tax, based on their salaries (Guide On Iranian Taxation System For Foreign Investors). It doesn’t matter if you are Iranian or a non-Iranian. All people are subject to tax on all their income (Ibid). Non-resident individuals are liable to pay tax only on their Iranian-sourced income and they can’t obtain an exit visa from Iran unless they provide proof that they have paid their due taxes (Ibid).

What’s an exit visa?

Foreign nationals who wishes to leave Iran is required to apply for an exit visa at least one week in advance of the intended departure date since the possession of a passport does not allow for exit (Canada, I. IRB: Information on the exit visa in Iran).

Iran’s residence permit for your spouse:

You can apply easily for a spousal visa. It has simple procedures and requires to prove the marriage and sponsorship (“IR-IRAN Electronic Visa (Evisa) Application – Ministry Of Foreign Affairs”).

Iran’s work permit:

Most foreign nationals may not be authorized to work in Iran, unless he or she obtains the entry visa with the right of working and work permit from the Department General for Employment of Foreign Nationals (“Employment Of Foreign Nationals | Organization For Investment Economic And Technical Assistance Of Iran”). The employer should apply for the issuance of an entry visa with the right of working.

There are some required documents that should be submitted in order to issue the work permit (Ibid):

  • The formal and well-written request of the employer
  • Completion visa application and work permit forms
  • Visa fee

Normally, the above procedure is accompanied with interviews. This visa will be extended by the Police Aliens Affairs Department (Ibid).

Healthcare for expats in Iran:

Expats are not entitled to public health insurance in Iran and they will need to pay for their own healthcare. Iran has a large network of public and private clinics and healthcare is cheap compared to other countries.

Usually, expats arrange for private health insurance to take care of their healthcare needs. It’s recommended to take out worldwide health insurance, however expats could arrange for private health insurance to take care of their healthcare needs.

Wrapping up!

As it was mentioned earlier, target audiences of this article are both, independent expatriates and international corporations who are planning to send their expatriates to Iran. The main questions for independent expats relocating to Iran were answered. However, there are some advice for international companies and their expatriates in Iran which should be considered:

  • Never make a decision without fully understanding all the regulations and related costs in Iran
  • Consider integration plan and time for your expatriates to become adjusted to the Iranian culture and language
  • Plan to empower local talents and hire them in your long term plans
  • Make sure your expatriates are fully aware of your core values and their local missions in Iran
  • Create the learning environment to dialogue with expatriates
  • Set succession plans for expatriates and provide channels to transfer knowledge and skills to local staff
  • Coach both expatriates and local staffs in Iran to create a two-way sympathy between them
  • Don’t ignore your local talents! Make sure that they understand your reasons for recruiting an expatriate.
  • Get advice from local HR Immigration Consultants who know the domains and help to boost your operations. 

Iran enjoys a rich and powerful history with bright future. It’s time to relocate to Iran!


  • Canada, Immigration. “IRB: 1) Information On The Exit Visa In Iran 2) Information On Exit Visas For Unmarried Women 3) Information On Whether An Exit Visa Is Needed To Leave Iran For Turkey And Pakistan [IRN7997] | Ecoi.Net – European Country Of Origin Information Network”. N.p., 2017.
  • “Employment Of Foreign Nationals | Organization For Investment Economic And Technical Assistance Of Iran”. N.p., 2017.
  • Guide On Iranian Taxation System For Foreign Investors. 1st ed. Iran: Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran, 2012.
  • “IR-IRAN Electronic Visa (Evisa) Application – Ministry Of Foreign Affairs”. N.p., 2017.

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thanks daryoosh for sharing. great to know before landing